Texas Country Music Cruise Battle for the Band

Be sure to join us at The Tap in College Station, Texas on April 28th, as we kick off our Pickin’ & Peelin Music Festival with the Texas Country Music Cruise Battle for the Band!

10 contestant will perform a 15 minute solo/acoustic set and  will be judged by in 5 categories:  vocals, music, songwriting, crowd engagement and stage presence by music industry representatives.

The winner will join the Texas Country Music Cruise lineup which includes Reckless Kelly, William Clark Green, Bart Crow, Zane Williams and many more!




Andrew McWilliams – Red 11

Andrew McWilliams is a booking agent at Red 11 Music in Austin, TX.  After graduating with a Music Business degree from Loyola New Orleans, he worked as a marketing strategist for two years before relocating back home to Texas. Andrew booked, promoted and marketed his own independent project before joining the Red 11 team in the fall of 2015. Since then, he has worked closely with his counterparts to handle touring and routing nationwide for exclusive Red 11 Music artists.


Mario Flores – Rebecca Creek Radio

He has self-released three albums; had 4 #1’s in Texas Radio, the most recent album “Almost Famous” producing 4 singles that have all charted in the top 5 of the Texas Regional Radio report.

If you haven’t heard his music go check out his video “Beertime” which was filmed with a bunch of his fans and friends on Canyon Lake it will surely get you singing along in no time.

If you ask Mario who influenced his decision to sing country music he will always tell you Steve Warner. Flores was so influenced by him that he recently completed a 4 song EP of Steve Warner songs. On top of that he has been the Program Director for Rebecca Creek Radio the last 3 years and is currently also working with iHeartmedia as a consultant for Texas Music. He recently accepted the position of Director of Music Marketing for Rebecca Creek Whiskey and is working with artist to help spread the love of Texas Music.


Brandyn Steen – Out-Write Music Publishing & Four17

Brandyn Steen is the Owner / Creative Director at Out-Write Music Publishing and FOUR17 Entertainment. He’s published songs that have appeared #1 on Billboard as well as #1 on The Texas Music Chart / Texas Regional Radio Report. In 2015, he was named to “Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30” which recognizes Nashville’s top young professionals. Out-Write Music has published songs recorded by Artists such as: Colt Ford, Randy Houser, Josh Gracin, Josh Ward and many others. He currently manages Curtis Grimes and produces the entertainment for the Texas Country Music Cruise.

Random Fact – He’s written songs recorded by Jake Worthington, Jason Cassidy, The Southern Gothic and several others.


Chris Fox – Texas Music Pickers

Chris Fox got his first taste of the Texas music scene in 2002 after sneaking in to a Randy Rogers concert at the age of 17 in Huntsville, Texas. He later attended Sam Houston State University where he received his Bachelors in Business Administration. After spending a few years in hardware and software sales in Houston, Chris decided to go back to school and pursue his passion. While teaching Business and Marketing classes in College Station and finishing his MBA, Chris and Steve Fox, went on to start Texas Music Pickers after using it as a way to get in to a sold out concert -True Story! Chris and Steve officially launched their website in March of 2014, highlighting singles, albums, and videos of established and up-and-coming Texas and Red Dirt artists, providing valuable marketing analysis and advice, as well as, publishing the Texas Music Spotify Chart and the Texas Music Pickers Podcast. The website currently averages 35K hits a month, and they’ve amassed nearly 35,000 social media followers!


Jodi Cockrell – Dickson Productions

graduated from Texas A&M University in December of 2016 where she majored in agricultural communications & journalism. While at Texas A&M she also received a minor in agricultural leadership and development and became a certified event planner. Her time at A&M was spent serving multiple leadership roles in Sigma Alpha.Her senior year, Jodi founded Sigma Alpha Song Swap, a now annual fundraiser that host Texas/Red Dirt musicians for a night of exceptional music and good times.Jodi is currently the Digital Marketing/Social Media Coordinator and Event Production Assistant for Dickson Productions, which presents or consults on more than 100 performances and special events each year, including The MusicFest at Steamboat Colorado and Rio Frio Fest- A Texas Style Spring Break.In her free time, Jodi is a freelance photographer and media consultant for artists and bands.


Jared McManus – The Tap & Back Porch Management

While attending Texas A&M University, McManus discovered his love for music and took a management position at the The Tap in College Station. After taking the position, Jared  played an integral role in revamping the reputable music venue with a steady flow of up & coming artists. In 2018, McManus launched Back Porch Management which has two quickly rising artists:  Chris Colston and Kobly Cooper


Contestants and Schedule

Saturday, April 28th

6:15-6:30- Darrin Morris

6:35-6:50 – Tanner Sparks

6:55-7:10  – Kenna Danielle

7:15-7:30 – Sim Balkey

7:35-7:50 – Giovannie & the Hired Guns

7:55-8:10- Cody Wayne

8:15-8:30- Sam Shupak

8:35-8:50 – Hannah kay

8:55 – 9:10 – Jordan Nix and the Day Drinkers

9:15 – 9:30 Jon Stork

9:30 – 9:40 Audience Vote

9:45 – Chris Colston (Support for Read Southall)

10:30 – Winner is announced

10:45 – Read Southall


(Rest of Pickin’ & Peelin’ Schedule)

Sunday, April 29th

1:00 – Clay Hollis

1:50 – Grant Gilber

2:40 – Haley Cole

3:30 – Shea Abshier & the Nighthowlers

4:30 – Kody West

5:45 – Flatland Cavalry


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Author: Chris Fox

Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I'am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.

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